Come Rain or Shine
If the weather is not at it's best, or you just want to spot a few more things for your itinerary, then here is an excellent guide to help you.
The Eden project
The Eden Project is unique and its mission is
"to promote the understanding and practise the responsible management of the vital relationship between plants, people and resources, leading towards a sustainable future for all."
Native plants - and exotics from around the world - are housed in the two huge biomes along with a tropical rain forest complete with waterfall.
As well as being a lot of fun, Eden does have a serious side as it explores our dependence upon the plant world and explains the need to sustain and preserve our environment for future generations.
The actual site of the Eden Project is around 9 hectares22 acres with around 50%½ under-cover consisting of the Humid Tropics Biome (HTB), the Mediterranean Biome (MB) and the Education centre, or in other words it is large with loads of walking and plenty of under-cover areas.
Humid Tropics Biome
This is the largest biome and is aptly named. By the time you have explored it, then you will definitely feel that you have visited several humid and tropical countries, but without the air travel! The HTB covers an area of around 4 hectares10 acres and there is a lot to see with areas containing plants from specific Tropical areas around the world, to areas that focus on plants and what we produce from them.
The Mediterranean Biome is full of areas from more temperate regions around the world and is a welcome 'chill-out' after the heat and humidity of the HTB. The terrain is less steep and it it smaller than its cousin though it has a wonderful collection of plants from the more temperate zones of the planet. By the time you reach the exit you get a strong feeling that you have visited both a larder and medicine cabinet of plants.
Opened in 2006, the Core is an education centre with a series of interesting exhibits and exhibitions on plant-related topics. The roof is a marvel of modern construction and its design is based on the same pattern found in many species of plant and flower.
At the centre is a wonderful granite sculpture representing the seed of learning.
Planning a Day Out
Tickets - You can buy Eden Project Tickets via their website and there are various offers available, especially if you are happy to book in advance, arrive via public transport or are intending to visit both Eden and Heligan.
Walkers and Cyclists - There are bus services via St. Austell and you can cycle to The Eden Project via the Clay trails. Cyclists and those travelling on foot get a discount on the entry price and there are lockers and bike racks for storage.
If travelling by car, the car parks are serviced by a bus, that will take you down to the entrance and bring you back up as well.
Mobility - For those not so fleet of foot, then there are parking areas in the lower car parks with access to mobility aids and you can find out more about this on the Eden website. Once inside, there is a land-train that can take you right down to the lower-level areas and also bring you back up. The views from the 'land-train' over the site are excellent.
Dogs - Eden has special shaded areas for dogs and water is available.
Electric Vehicles - Those with electric cars can use one of two (yes just two) electric charging points and again it's best to check the website for latest specification and access.
Humid Tropics biome - The biome is very hot on the upper slopes and has steps in places. There is a 'cool' room if things get too much and do beware of cameras and video kit as condensation can be a problem.
There is a special walkway that is open on cooler days that allows you a view from the top of the biome (vertigo sufferers beware).
Food - There are several restaurants serving food in the area between the biomes as well as new restaurant in the Mediterranean Biome. There are also various snack-shacks serving pasties etc. and we have always been impressed by both the quality and sourcing of food at Eden.
Eden start promoting a series of music events called the Eden Sessions back in 2002. There have been some amazing artists perform there over the years and here at Bedknobs, we usually have one or two guests who have booked a ticket and then come to stay. The ticket price includes entrance to the Eden project itself, so you can see it during the day as well as go to the gig.
Over the years we have seen some memorable events - PJ Harvey (2003) - The Verve (2008) - Elbow (2014) and there were plenty more that it would have been great to see. Check out Eden Sessions for latest news and if coming down to Cornwall, maybe stay for a couple of days and see some of the rest of Cornwall as well.